Agribusiness Development Team Five has returned home, after an 11-month tour in Afghanistan. The Missouri National Guard team was tasked with helping was improve agricultural practices in Afghanistan.
Team commander Brent Beckley says the goal was to help the citizens manage their own agribusiness: “There’s a lot of processes they just have forgotten over time or just don’t know how to do because of all the previous wars and destruction,” he says.
The National Guard’s first agribusiness development team deployed from Missouri in 2008. The Missouri Farm Bureau and the University of Missouri helped start the program. Beckley says the fifth team tried to help members of the Afghan government manage their agribusiness.“They can grow their own food, they know how to do that,” he says. “But there’s just a lot of things in terms of running a government, running an office, and being functional and knowing how to report and collect data and provide a service.”
Fred Sobotko is a member of the team’s security force. He says he is still acclimating to his return to the U.S after his fourth deployment:“I don’t know yet … It hasn’t hit yet, I don’t know.”
Another agribusiness development team from Missouri is still in Afghanistan, and the program is expected to continue.